Thoughts so far?


Hell's Rebels


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I have all of the PDFs so far (I signed up for the subscription on #2, so I still have to buy book 1) and I'm thinking about running a party through beginning some time after the first of the year. We were originally going to do this one a couple months ago but wound up doing Mummy's Mask instead (which I enjoy GMing, and I think my players are enjoying, too).

I'm a relative noob to the GM world though I have been playing D&D and similar since somewhere around 1980. My buddy got me into Pathfinder several years ago and we started a Kingmaker run last year around this time. Over the course of the past year I've gotten completely hooked. This one seems a bit tougher to GM than Mummy's Mask, however, given the inherent RP necessary, though I have some rather experienced players that don't mind "helping" when necessary. ;)

I'm just wondering... is it worth it? Is everyone liking this so far? What I've read really has me stoked. My MM campaign requires quite a bit of work since we started with a party of 8 (probably down to 6 now, however... phew). I plan on limiting this one to 5, so the amount of work shouldn't be too difficult to manage. I just want us to have fun... will we?

Thanks,

Mark


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I think it's worth it, we haven't started yet but very soon, I'll be GMing for my pre-teen daughter so I anticipate it will degenerate into The Hunger Games quite quickly:-D

Shadow Lodge

Speaking as a player, I'm having fun. We're barely into the second week of the rebellion, too, so I anticipate there's more fun to be had.


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Cool. I'm putting my tween son through Giantslayer with his friends and we really enjoy that one, too.

Silver Crusade

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I've been running Mummy's Mask as my first long-term campaign, and I started running Rebels in October. So we are in similar boats! The necessary GM style to run the campaigns as written is different, but I find Rebels a lot more fun.

For one thing, Rebels expects that you add NPCs and flavor to the city. I did this by making my players really think about who their characters were and what they did in Kintargo. I asked them who the important people were in their life and tried to give them personalities. In the middle series of missions, I introduced each of them through the players' NPCs. I also do micro role playing sessions with everyone outside of game time. (I have pretty much constant social media convos going one-on-one with all my players, which makes this possible.)

I've definitely put more effort into running Rebels than running Mummy, but it's so fun, I don't mind, and it's a lot more rewarding!


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GMing this one as well and running session 5 over at Roll20 today!!

This Ap is WAY better than Giantslayer and quite fun to plan and do prep work, let alone run it. 6 PC party and they finally almost have the wasps nest cleaned lout and can;t wait to see how the Rebel mini game concept works out in game. :) The players as well I suspect, LOL

I think you and you players will have a blast playing through this, just make sure you and the players like playing urban AP's is all I would caution about in general.

Good luck and hope to hear from your group if you do in fact get this going.

Tom


TRDG wrote:

GMing this one as well and running session 5 over at Roll20 today!!

This Ap is WAY better than Giantslayer and quite fun to plan and do prep work, let alone run it. 6 PC party and they finally almost have the wasps nest cleaned lout and can;t wait to see how the Rebel mini game concept works out in game. :) The players as well I suspect, LOL

I think you and you players will have a blast playing through this, just make sure you and the players like playing urban AP's is all I would caution about in general.

Good luck and hope to hear from your group if you do in fact get this going.

Tom

From what I've heard, I'm glad I skipped the Giants one. I'm digging this AP though.

Contributor

I've been having a great time! All of our PCs have strong ties to the city but different philosophical outlooks, so it's been really cool seeing how their opinions on things change as we advance the story. Some PCs are questioning the morality of using violence to bring about change, mine started out thinking "art" as a revolutionary force was crap but has had his mind changed by the bard and her actions.

The rebellion actions add depth and background to the advancing plot. They've informed the PC's attitudes and other decisions, and have been fun to roleplay. E.g. my blue collar kineticist approaching his unemployed dock workers associates, asking them to do their part for a better Kintargo by becoming our first team of Freedom Fighters. Our cavalier and a mercenary NPC we grew attached to doing drill line stuff, whipping the new guys into shape.
Not to mention all the cool performance art stuff the bard's been up to!

So yeah, it's good! Compelling premise, some good sandbox stuff but with enough hooks and events to provide a clear path forward without that "uhhh what do we do" issue sandboxes can have. I totally recommend it!


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I talked with half of my Mummy's Mask group last night and they seem stoked. There are 3 adults and 3 teenagers in the MM group, though I plan to limit it to just the adults for HR (mostly because it is a weekday thing and I only want a party of 4 or 5). The first comment was "yes, I'd love to do this after MM!" and I replied "NO! We are going to start in January." After a bit backstory on what I wanted to do (weekdays, just us friends, etc.) we started working on where we'd play, i.e., it wasn't if, it was when and where!

Anyway, I think the urban idea sounds great. My crew would probably like to spend a bit more time tooling around in the city in MM as it is (well, actually, we just started book 2 last night...).

@Eliandra: I intend to make traits contingent upon a legitimate backstory. Not a problem with this group. We'll probably get together for at least one session to hammer out the details, likely more. With only 4 (5 is possible, though unlikely), they're really going to have to pay attention to how they fit into the city and story in general. It should be fun.


I'm getting to play in this one, and we just wrapped up the first module last night. So far, I'm REALLY enjoying it...in fact I think I'm enjoying it more than any other AP.


I'll be finishing RotRL tomorrow night. After that, I'll start running HR, which looks all kinds of awesome so far.


Have not run or played any of this AP, but there is a lot about it I like. I really need to sit down and read it more in depth. I can definitely see it would be a more in-depth roleplaying campaign.


My PCs are currently blasting through the "missions" from the first book, like they are done with most of the "hard" missions and its not even the end of the second week yet. This might be because of my gm play style, but I feel like true "downtime" is hard to come by early in the campaign, and as a result, I've had to really think of things on the fly to artificially draw out some missions. I would definitely come with some things planned ahead of time, so you can pull these out if necessary.

I think someone mentioned before, but definitely key here is NPCs, I've been having to come up with some as we go along, some friendly, some not so friendly, the back matter of the book with the small descriptions of low key players really does help (my players really enjoy my rendition of The Newt for example).

Spoiler:

Hopefully as the rebellion gets going there will be more opportunity for them to have downtime/get to know the city and its people, but right now I feel like they are going way too fast for "in game time" heck Blosodriette is supposed to take 4-5 weeks? I don't think my players will even still be level 4 at this rate.


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I've got a couple months to prepare... I'll keep that in mind. Thanks for all the comments so far, everyone.


I am DM'ing in a rotation with 1 or 2 other DM's (I'm Book 1 & 4, if not more due to one DM being busy with school) and we're playing with 4 active PC's.

They definitely are diverse and we're just starting on the Missions portion after the first week of Rebellion. After a few random encounters they've definitely realized that it's not all about 'killing the bad guys' and for some I think it's killing them inside. ^_^

They've strayed a bit off track to what I originally planned (what group hasn't?) but luckily the missions sprawl all over Kintargo so I'll just make adjustments accordingly. The biggest issue is that even though I've given them good hooks to bite, they still aren't sure of what they should be doing. I don't want to break the immersion so I spend my off-time coming up with things that could help solidify that for them.

Last bit, I am a huge fan of The Flash on CW, so at the end of each of my sessions, I run a little teaser bit to help paint a better picture of what goes on in other parts of town (vaguely) and the aftermath of any encounters. For example, they encountered an Asmodean patrol and subued them after getting information from them, leaving them in an alley. The teaser was a pedestrian walking by and noticing them left in a very un-church-like position and ran frantically back out of the alley and down the street, while a dark hooded figure slowly passes the alley, turns its head to see the sight and slowly follows the pedestrian.

I've got them on the edge of their computer chairs :)


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Hadn't really been a big fan until this past weekend. I hadn't really had a chance to read the modules in detail, just skim over them.

But this weekend, I was able to read the adventures all the way through, and I was pretty impressed with the variety and the easily scaleability of the challenges. The one problem that sticks out to me is the motivation of the PCs to clear out the flooded basement in the second adventure, and how exploration works in the opera house, but other than that, I liked the banquet mechanics, and the battle in the ruby masquerade.


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Very happy with the Adventure Path so far.

I'm running it in a 'Flintlock Fantasy' version of Pathfinder, which is basically the same game, but a little further down the timeline in terms of gunpowder technology (roughly Pirates of the Carribean level).
I'm portraying Cheliax as an infernal version of the British Empire, and giving the whole thing a little bit of an American War of Independence feel.

No Gunslingers, and gunpowder weapons that are harder hitting but still slow to fire and load, so you get more of an opening pistol skirmish that quickly devolves into swordplay.

Adding in a few custom skills to flesh out the social side of things (Streetwise, Leadership), making some of the more obvious feats baseline, adding Reserve Hit Points etc. Basically most of my houserules from our recent Rise of the Runelords campaign.

This AP has a really nice feel to it. It's got the sandbox elements you want, but it keeps a fairly solid direction. The rebellion mechanics are nice, especially with a few tweaks, and the Banquet/Masquerade mechanic is very well thought out. (I do agree with Yakman about the exploration part. May need to tweak that a bit.)

Running it for an Alchemist, Swashbuckler, Arcane Archer (Gunpowder variant) and a Ranger, with one more to join.

One thing I have added is letting the party find a 'Manual of Golems' early on which lets them build a Junk Golem, both to guard the hideout and for them to upgrade and customise as the campaign progresses. Their very own Jarvis, essentially.

Certainly one of the best AP's that Paizo have brought out so far for me, subject to how the ending shapes up.


When I first heard about it, I was mildly intrigued because it was set in my favorite nation, but didn't think I'd like the whole CG Rebellion thing.

Hooo-boy was I wrong. After checking out the books I must say, this is a FANTASTIC campaign. I'm prepping to DM it and have playtested the first book, and so far its just amazing.

Even though I suspect I'd have a very hard time getting into it as a player, playing as Cheliax itself is just the kind of thing I love - combined with the interesting mechanics and lots of roleplaying possibilities, this is going to be an awesome campaign to run, and I can't wait to start it.


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I think I've said this before, but having the lead developer write the player's guide was a very nice addition, everything ties together so nicely.

Absolutely love this Adventure Path!

My one complaint is, I'm pretty sure my daughter will make a variation of Katniss Everdeen for it. :-D


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I'm rounding up a group now. I sent out my initial build rules and expect we'll meet the first time near the end of the month to determine character choices and party motivation/backstory. I considered waiting till the pawns arrive in March, but given that we are doing this on Wednesdays and my crew is anything but quick, we'll probably still be in the first book when they get here.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
captain yesterday wrote:

I think I've said this before, but having the lead developer write the player's guide was a very nice addition, everything ties together so nicely.

Absolutely love this Adventure Path!

My one complaint is, I'm pretty sure my daughter will make a variation of Katniss Everdeen for it. :-D

That's actually a feature of the AP, not a bug, Cap'n.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I am hardly surprised, but this is an excellent step up from the bleh-worthy Giantslayer.


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I like Giantslayer! I'm running it for my son and his friends on Sunday as an intro to Pathfinder. I'm also running Mummy's Mask on Saturdays with a more experienced crew. Needless to say, MM is getting more in terms of effort from my side since our focus with GS is rules and game mechanics. The boys (12/13 years) are easier to impress and do not notice plot issues.

HR is going to be more intense than either, I suspect.


Book 4, without saying any spoilers, is looking to be absolutely fantastic and I totally can't wait to run it. Book 3 is almost just as amazing too!


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Eh, this is a GM thread... spoilers aren't a problem. ;) I started my subscription on book 2, btw, but went back and got book 1 last month. I had already paid for the PDF, so I already knew what was coming.


taks wrote:
Eh, this is a GM thread... spoilers aren't a problem. ;) I started my subscription on book 2, btw, but went back and got book 1 last month. I had already paid for the PDF, so I already knew what was coming.

There was at least one player who poked in here to say his thoughts on it too, sooo. Plus no where does it say its a GM thread, so I wanted to avoid spoiling someone.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Overall a very very nice plot and setting... ! What an upswing after Mummy, Iron Gods and Giantslayer...

Personally I am just slightly worried over the events of Act III (which basically means the characters having to go into the final battle without their heavy gear) and Act IV and overabundance of the "Iron Will" feat and very stifling Will Saves (in combination with significant SR later on) .. (so far my group is heavy on bards and hybrid-class characters so saves and caster level are something I keep in mind)

If this is to be a social and investigative campaign (so says the players guide) , even the Dottari universally having boosted will saves (basically Iron Will stormtrooopers, yeah), nevermind the true villains, stiffling "Suggestions" "Sow Thoughts" "Sleep" or "Charm Person"and most other "soft impact" spells ....so universally either calls for some serious rewriting or power maxed enchanters to do anything reliably.. or just hack through everything because the soft approach fails. 'meh

Books 3 and 4 appear a bit linear in execution, too.


Actually, Book 3 assumes the players go into the event knowing its a trap (or suspecting it is), thus preparing for it. Glamored Armor, Hats of Disguise(Greater or not), and the like will all help with allowing even heavily armored PCs to look like they're dressed up.

Book 3 is probably the most linear of the books, but book 4 is no where near as such. Any of the targets in book 4 can be attacked in any order - except for the final target, as thats the hardest nutshell to crack and is basically the last target.

As for book 3... linear it may be, but its still got some VERY interesting encounters. Richard Pett is one of my favorite adventure Authors, ever since playing through his "The Wormwood Mutiny" Adventure at the beginning of Skull and Shackles.

That being said.. there is a lot of combat on top of the large amount of investigative bits. And for Iron will being sprinkled around the dottari.. its probably to avoid overly cheesy Charm and Domination builds. (That being said, Iron Will doesn't negate those, it just makes them a little more difficult to work with, even if this is a humanoid-heavy campaign) And think of it from a roleplaying perspective - you would NEED an iron will to survive being an agent of Thrune or even a city guard for Cheliax ;P (Although why the Dottari have such high wisdom scores is beyond me. They might as well be clerics or warpriests!)


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Can't you walk into the ball in full armor, it's just gotta be nice (I.e. magical armor is nice).

Honestly, my party defaults to high dex/cha, low armor builds, so I'm not terribly worried about it.


Some armor is innappropriate, but other armor isn't. I won't get into too much detail but you can wear some armor.


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True, Crusty, now that I look back at when I started it. :)


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Crustypeanut wrote:

Actually, Book 3 assumes the players go into the event knowing its a trap (or suspecting it is), thus preparing for it. Glamored Armor, Hats of Disguise(Greater or not), and the like will all help with allowing even heavily armored PCs to look like they're dressed up.

Book 3 is probably the most linear of the books, but book 4 is no where near as such. Any of the targets in book 4 can be attacked in any order - except for the final target, as thats the hardest nutshell to crack and is basically the last target.

As for book 3... linear it may be, but its still got some VERY interesting encounters. Richard Pett is one of my favorite adventure Authors, ever since playing through his "The Wormwood Mutiny" Adventure at the beginning of Skull and Shackles.

Personally - nothing against Richard Pett. He is a great writer, but he is the same guy who thought CR3 tiny flying D6 bleeding mosquito swarms was a great idea to use as random monsters against level 3 characters in Skulls and Shackles - just check the obituary thread back there for some of the consequences of Mr. Pett thinking something is a "fair encounter" ....

Yes that is a very nasty situation the players are expected to put their head into. Hats of disguise - probably useless, perfect armour for that job... have it on time and be aware that it is needed ? Nevermind dancing with a two handed sword strapped to your back. Or a brace of pistols - disguised or not.

As for the Iron Willed "Stormtroopers of Cheliax" (ahem Kintargo)... yeah enough said..... Problem is... the only way to play this campaign reliably with magic as an effective suggestive means "as written" is building cheesy concepts.

Looking at it from a historic perspective... a lawful evil regime usually fared better if their servants and ruled are not Iron Willed and individualistic in their mindset, but meek followers who rather follow any rules dictated to them instead of standing up for their own vision of things. Lawful evil likes "broken" followers...

Something I also found odd... no Hellknights in the first Act ?


vikingson wrote:


Yes that is a very nasty situation the players are expected to put their head into. Hats of disguise - probably useless, perfect armour for that job... have it on time and be aware that it is needed ? Nevermind dancing with a two handed sword strapped to your back. Or a brace of pistols - disguised or not.

Any players going to a public function/obvious trap who don't have (and make use of) extradimensional storage by this point in their careers probably deserve everything they get.

Even if they don't habitually carry bags of holding, gloves of storing and the like, I would hope that any party walking open-eyed into something like this would go out and acquire same. Even under Martial Law, Bag of Holding I is under the city purchase limit.

Given the urban nature of the adventure, I expect a lot of the more subtle but generally ignored items and enchants (like Glamoured armour) will be a lot more useful in this AP.


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vikingson wrote:


Personally - nothing against Richard Pett. He is a great writer, but he is the same guy who thought CR3 tiny flying D6 bleeding mosquito swarms was a great idea to use as random monsters against level 3 characters in Skulls and Shackles - just check the obituary thread back there for some of the consequences of Mr. Pett thinking something is a "fair encounter" ....

My players.. completely avoided those encounters in Skull and Shackles. How? By burning the field. Yep. They're that kind of group. Thats how they tend to live so long.. heh.

Pett's just a deliciously brutal designer who likes to throw a few twists and turns at players to bring them out of their comfort zone. Heck, in that very same book, I nearly had a player die to the very first skill-based encounter in it. The rogue was not prepared for climbing.

And while I do agree about the meek followers bit with the Stormtroopers of Cheliax (Love that comparison), Kintargo itself has always been kind of 'freedom loving' - as a result, the Dottari, though now under the direct control of a Thrune, were likely a bit more free-willed than standard Dottari from other cities. Why? They're Kintargan natives too, after all.


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My wife went splat on that challenge, she almost had it won too.

Alas, when Pett's involved, even a DC10 skill check will kill you. :-)


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Looks like my guys are in for a ride. We are doing a 25-pt build and as many as 5 players (if we get 5, the 5th will likely be new to the game, but the other 4 are very experienced). I don't intend to change the encounters much, but I may have to max out HPs on the baddies. Everybody recognizes the need to have something in CHA and associated skills, and I've made it clear they should be well-rounded rather than min/maxed. We shall see...

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